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Casting From Thread Safe Class

Posted on 1999-01-27
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Last Modified: 2013-11-20
I've got a class for data which I want to use in both a base CWinThread and also a worker thread. I've made a child class of the data class adding only a CMutex and Get and Set functions. Now bearing in mind that I must use CSingleLock or CMultiLock to protect my objects when the worker thread is running, what ought to happen when I cast from the thread safe data class to the thread unsafe data class?
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Question by:gavinpat
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gvg earned 100 total points
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If you have dataclass as such

Class A
{
public:
  int  mNumber
}

class B : public A
{
  CMutex  mLock;
  int GetNumber( void );
  void SetNumber( int number );
}

int B:GetNumber()
{
  CSingleLock lock( mLock );
  return mNumber;
}

void B:SetNumber( int number )
{
  CSingleLock lock( mLock );
  mNumber = number;
}

Now you must access the members through the Get & Set functions to make them thread safe no matter if you are using class A or class B.  This is because a direct access to the member does not lock the threadlock. You can however not access the Get & Set functions in class A since they aren't defined.  What you should do is this


class A
{
protected:
  int mNumber;
public:
  virtual int GetNumber( void );
  virtual void SetNumber( int number );
}

class B : public A
{
public:
  CMutex mLock;
  virtual int GetNumber( void );
  virtual void SetNumber( void );
}

Now you can impliment the Get & Set members for both class A and class B.  If you create a instance of class B and cast it to A you will be able to access the member throught the Get & Set function and the virtual keyword will garanty that if the class was created as class B you will use its functions after you cast it to class A so it will be thread safe.

I also made the data member "mNumber" as protected so it can not be accessed directly by other classes.

Tip:
If you program is running entierly in a single process you should use CCriticalSection instead of CMutex.  There is not diffrance between this two classes except that the Mutex can work across process boundaries and is therefor much slower than CCriticalSection.

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